[App Fridays] LoReMo Aims to be a One Stop Solution for Multiple Customer Loyalty Plans

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A few years back, the retail industry had introduced the membership card as a means to reward the frequent customer. This trend then spread rapidly to other verticals in the sector and now almost every retail brand has a membership card. Add these membership cards to the wallet of an urban Indian and it

becomes a hassle to manage. With over 300 million urban Indians, plastic cards is also a not very good for the environment.Solutions to this problem have been given via smartphone apps and today app does exactly this. LoReMo, along with providing a customer loyalty solution, doubles up to become a deal discovery platform. While there is a business angle to this app from a merchants perspective, we will restrict ourselves to a user's experience of using this app. I've spent almost a month with this app and here's what we think -

Function

LoReMo ties up with local businesses and transactions with its partners provide the users with points. These points can be redeemed for rewards which again is provided by the merchant subscribers of the app. Another way to collect points is via QR code scanning, which can be found at the subscribed merchant's store. LoReMo also provides these merchants with machines that generate QR codes that is attached to the bill which has rewards points embedded in it which corresponding to the amount you shopped for. These are the app's primary use case when you're at a shop that has subscribed to LoReMo.

When you're not at a shop, you can discover deals at businesses around you.

Effectiveness 

From a functions perspective, there's nothing that the app says that it can't do and it would be very pointless to measure the app's efficiency on the functions it can execute. So how we did it was to measure LoReMo on its purpose. The purpose of this app is two fold -1) To be a single solution to the problem of multiple membership cards - The app has tied up with over 30 businesses in Bangalore and some of them are famous joints like Beijing Bites, but a lot of the businesses are eat joints, which really isn't known for or need a customer loyalty program as much as a retail store.

2) The app should notify the user with deals nearby - This works well and I personally have cashed in on some very good deals. Furthermore, the deals aren't restricted to merchants who have subscribed to the app, which is very useful.

Within a few days of using the app, I quickly realized that the from a loyalty card angle, the app is only as good the merchants who subscribe to it and the LoReMo has a too few merchants who have subscribed to it for its customer loyalty angle to be used extensively. However, this is a startup we're talking about and from my interaction with them, business expansion is definitely on the cards.

The deal discovery part is quite neat, but then again, there are enough apps in the market that do only this and LoReMo doesn't have an edge over the others in this regard.

Innovation

LoReMo is not a first of a kind app. There are many in the market that are doing what LoReMo does; Delight Circle being the most notable one of them from India. You can give it to LoReMo in identifying this space as a mobile solution is the most sustainable, scalable and environmentally friendly solution to this problem.Its really hard to pick out innovation for apps in the deals category and I personally think that the distinction will come in the number of merchants subscriptions the apps has. Distinction will also come in what else the app can do and so far, most apps pretty much do the same thing.

Battery Report - By Little Eye Labs 

LoReMo brings deals from partner merchants to the user’s phone. It depends on the network data to collect the information on deals, their location and keep track of user’s points. The app does a good job of optimizing the power consumption by WiFi. It makes good use of caching to reduce network usage. It tracks the availability of network to inform the user if the data being shown is current or cached.

The CPU power consumption is also minimal as the app is not computational intensive. Only the QR code reader component causes some significant power consumption. The use of cream colored background for the app allows easy readability while still keeping the display power consumption lower than a pure white color would have allowed.

The overall performance of the app with respect to power consumption was quite satisfactory.

UI and UX

LoReMo's creamish background, along with being light on the battery, is also very pleasing to the eyes. I like the colors used in the app and the iconography and the typography back it up very well. Very good UI.

The user experience on the other hand isn't that great. A lot of screen real estate has been wasted with the LoReMo logo on the top and the tabbed layout is also eats up more space. The app was used on a 4 inch screen so this didn't seem like much. Get down to a 3.5 inch screen and this wasted screen real estate will begin to tell and smaller than this the app will begin to feel cramped. There are widely used UI practices to avoid this, but this seems to have been overlooked in this app. 

What We liked 

LoReMo is trying to capitalize on a market that not a lot of people have tapped yet. While apps like these are not uncommon, LoReMo is definitely one of the few names that come to the mind of an extensive android app user. Here's what we liked about the app

  1. A pretty stable app - hasn't FC-ed yet and very very light on the battery
  2. Very nice to look at and use - well chosen color schemes and well designed iconography and typography
  3. Deals feature works very well - Not having restricted to subscribers is a great idea. The users have a lot of deals to choose from
  4. QR code scanning - Smartphone users love scanning QR codes and I believe this feature will be widely used

What We Didn't Like

From the business point of view, this app will only be used as a customer loyalty platform if it has enough merchants on it. The team really needs to reach out to urban areas other than Bangalore. Right now, the merchants are only in Bangalore and only in some areas. Having said that, this is a good app and selling its benefit to merchants isn't going to be very difficult.

From an apps perspective, here's what we didn't like -

  1. Wasted screen real estate - Incorporating some UI/UX best practices will do a world of difference to this app, delighting users across screen sizes
  2. The login process - Its browser based, which I personally don't like. The experience can be much better using the Facebook SDK, making registration much less laborious. (I have spoken about this to the app maker and he had said that he didn't want to break something that's working
  3. fine. Fair enough.)
  4. Everytime after using the QR code scanner, I was prompted to rate the app on Google Play. These ratings are important for the app maker, but to a user who likes using this function, this might come across as a little irritating.

Last Words

Make no mistake, this is a great app. Barring a few changes in the UI/UX department, this is not an app that I would uninstall. Having said that, people will only use this app for its original purpose if there are going to be enough merchants who have subscribed to it and LoReMo has its work cut out in the marketing department.

I personally believe the smartphone is a great platform for a customer loyalty solution. A problem that early entrants into this field will find is breaking into the big boys who already have their customer loyalty plans in place. But with increased smartphone penetration, this is a change that will happen in the not so distant future. I personally believe that the winner of in this category will be the app with the most merchant subscriptions. Will LoReMo make it? Time will tell.

LoReMo is available on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry. You can find download links here.

Download the complete Little Eye Battery report here.

Be there at MobiSparks tomorrow! You do not want to miss this showcase of mobile applications! 

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